Intu has warned its rental income will fall below expectations this year following a “higher than expected level of CVAs”.

The property landlord, which operates shopping centres including Lakeside in Essex and Newcastle’s MetroCentre, said it expects like-for-like rental income to come in between 4% and 6% lower than last year.

Intu said the glut of CVAs across the retail and food and beverage markets, coupled with a “slowdown in new lettings” sparked by retail and political uncertainty, forced it to revise its full-year guidance.

The mall owner said it had recorded a “stable” start to 2019, having secured 53 long-term leases in the period from January 1 to May 2. The combined deals are worth £6m in annual rent, Intu said.

But its new boss Matthew Roberts cautioned: “We expect the remainder of 2019 to be challenging due to a higher than expected level of CVAs and a slowdown in new lettings as tenants delay their decisions due the uncertainties in the current political and retail environments.”

Roberts, who took the reins from former boss David Fischel earlier this year, added: “Despite the current operating environment, I believe we have a very good business and am confident we can meet the challenges we are facing head on. I look forward to updating the market on strategy alongside our interim results in July.”

Roberts is prioritising reducing Intu’s debt and last month revealed that the business had sold a 50% stake in its shopping centre in Derby to investment company Cale Street Partners in a £186m deal.